Topping the artist albums chart for the second week in a row, and third in all, Boyzone's Brother suffered a 26.9% dip in sales week-on-week to 45,267, while GaGa's The Fame suffered a more modest 12.7% decline to 44,866.
Although neither Boyzone nor GaGa seemed to benefit much, overall album sales received a welcome boost from Easter, rising 20.7% week-on-week to 2,247,421. That's 21.26% above same week 2009 sales of 1,853,364 but 2.99% below the 2,316,715 sales recorded in the seven days before Easter Sunday last year, when it fell on 12 April.
Boyzone's retention of the artist album chart title came in a week when few notable new artist albums were released.
After a brisk start - it was number four on the first midweek sales flashes - Madonna's latest live set, Sticky & Sweet Tour, faded fast, and eventually debuted at number 17 (12,405 sales). It is Madonna's third live album in less than four years, following 2006 set I'm Gonna Tell You A Secret and 2007's The Confessions Tour. I'm Gonna Tell You A Secret debuted and peaked at number 18, while The Confessions Tour reached number seven. Madonna's career haul of chart albums is now 22.
Paul Rodgers is the link between Free and Bad Company, serving as lead vocalist for both bands. A new compilation, The Very Best Of, features songs from both, and debuts at number 10 (17,802 sales) for Rodgers, who has more latterly been singing with the two man Queen line-up of Brian May and Roger Taylor.
Craig David had one of the most successful debut albums ever with 2000 set Born To Do It reaching number one and selling 1,829,172 copies. His last album, Trust Me, peaked at a more mundane number 18 and has sold 99,849 copies, while his new covers set, Signed Sealed Delivered debuts at number 13 (13,076 sales) this week.
Kids In Glass Houses reached number 29 with their 2008 debut album Smart Casual, which has sold nearly 30,000 copies. Despite the limited success of its first two singles - Youngblood (Let It Out) got to number 151, while Matters At All reached number 71 - their second album, Dirt, debuts at number 27 (8,411 sales).
GaGa's hit Bad Romance is one of nine number one singles to be found alongside 34 lesser chart makers on Now! 75, which opens with sales of 253,061 copies.
While that's way more than any other album has sold in a week this year - Boyzone's Brother previously held the record, selling 101,096 copies the week it was released last month - it is 15.36% below 2009 equivalent, Now! 72, which had first-week sales of 299,002 last April. The most recent album in the series, Now! 74, had first-week sales of 289,231 last November, and has since gone on to sell 1,100,564 copies, becoming the 11th biggest seller in its history. Now! 75, incidentally, breaks new ground by including two versions of the same song for the first time - inevitably, it is Don't Stop Believin', which appears in both the original Journey version and the successful Glee Cast cover.
Now! 75's huge debut atop the album chart brings to an end the two-week reign of Massive R&B: Spring 2010 which dips to number two (17,836 sales). It was the 11th release in the series which started in 2005, and has thus far yielded four number one albums, and sales of 1,184,118. Now! 75 sold more than 14 times as many copies as Massive R&B: Spring 2010 last week, and outsold the whole of the rest of the Top 200 compilations combined.
Scouting For Girls' self-titled 2007 debut album spawned five Top 40 hits, including She's So Lovely (number seven), Elvis Ain't Dead (number eight) and Heartbeat (number 10).
This Ain't A Love Song - the first single from follow-up Who Wants To Be On TV - outperforms them all, debuting strongly at number one on sales of 71,954 copies. With awareness of the band at a high, and discounting rife, their first album rebounded strongly, ending a 56-week absence from the chart to claim 35th position on sales of 5,081 copies.
The album, which reached number one at the 18th attempt in January 2008, has sold upwards of 800,000 copies. Scouting For Girls must be racing certainties to claim their second number one album with Who Wants To Be On TV a fortnight hence.
After consecutive number nine hits with End Titles (on which he was accompanied by Chase & Status) and Stay Too Long, Plan B scores the biggest hit of his career, debuting at number three with She Said (54,539 sales). It was runner-up to Scouting For Girls throughout the week, only falling behind Lady GaGa and Beyonce's outgoing number one, Telephone (54,726 sales) in the final chart.
Usher racks up his 11th Top 10 hit, as OMG - a collaboration with Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am - climbs 13-8 (31,837 sales). It is the introductory single from Usher's upcoming album, Raymond V. Raymond.
Elsewhere in the Top 200 chart, there are two chart entries driven by new media - specifically Facebook campaigns - and others linked to the more traditional medium of television.
Delirious? formed in 1992 but came to a parting of the ways after a sell-out gig at London's Hammersmith Odeon last November. Their fans decided it would be appropriate if the band - who were Britain's leading Christian rock group - were to have a record in the Top 40 for Easter. The song they chose, History Makers, is a stadium rocker from the 1997 Delirious? album King Of Fools -as well as the title track of their new compilation - and debuts at number four on sales of 44,467 copies. It easily beats the number 16 peak of 1999 release See The Star, the biggest of their nine previous Top 75 hits. A more ambitious and whimsical Facebook campaign, protesting the 10% rise in tax on the fermented apple drink, aimed to land The Wurzel's 1976 number three hit I Am A Cider Drinker back in the Top 10. It fails, with sales of 3,333 proving one too few for the track to take the bottom rung on the Top 75.
Former Emmerdale actress Hayley Tamaddon was winner of ITV's Dancing On Ice 2010 finale the weekend before last, and several of the songs featured in the last show enjoyed improved sales, most notably Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny), the AR Rahmann collaboration with Pussycat Dolls from SLumdog Millionaire, which jumps 110-60 (4,579 sales), while Eva Cassidy's Songbird re-enters the Top 200 at number 122 (1,957 sales).
Both songs were danced to by Tamaddon and professional partner Daniel Whiston. And TV advertising, specifically the new M&S campaign, provides the impetus for Cheryl Lynn's Got To Be Real to climb 175-78 (3,292 sales). The track, a number 44 hit in America in 1978, fell short of the chart here, though a 1994 cover by Erik reached number 42.
Overall singles sales improved by 9.3% to 2,849,162- 14% above same week 2009 sales of 2,499,171.